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At the Field of Dreams Monday afternoon, Comanche found itself facing more than just the No. 19 Class 4A Pauls Valley Panthers.
A strong gusting wind made catching pop flies very difficult for the Indians as they totaled seven errors in the game, leading to a 8-0 defeat.
“We’re very limited right now,” Comanche coach Nick Reed said. “We had several kids miss some games over spring break. If you miss a game then you sit a game and that’s why we had many starters out today. We’ve got to have everyone here if we’re going to compete against good teams. Overall we hit the ball not really well, but they made the plays they needed to.”
An RBI single through the left side by Colton Wimberly in the top of the fifth inning proved to be the winning run for the Panthers, but the damage had been piled on long before then for the Indians.
Comanche’s best opportunity to score came in the bottom of the fourth inning with two runners on base, but the Indians were unable to cut into the deficit.
Some quick base running by Ty Knight allowed him to steal home in the top of the first, before Daniel Brown scored from third thanks to a throwing error at first base, giving PVHS a 2-0 lead.
David Flores made it 3-0 in the top of the second with a deep fly to left center field, however, further damage was prevented when Drake O’Bryant was thrown out at home trying to score.
Colin Arie laid down a squeeze bunt to make it 4-0 for the Panthers, before Tanner Hamilton increased the lead to 5-0 in the top of the third inning.
Knight then collected two more RBI when an innocent pop-fly found the grass in the infield.
Chris Vanoven went the distance for the Indians (4-8) in his first career varsity start, allowing eight hits with seven walks and three strikeouts.
“Chris threw a pretty decent game for his first varsity start,” Reed said. “We try to tell the kids to have a short-term mentality and not to worry about things. When you have error after error then it’s going to cost you runs in a game.”
O’Bryant also went the distance for the Panthers (10-3), striking out four batters while allowing just three hits with no walks.
Comanche will be back at home this afternoon against Frederick with first pitch set for 4:30 p.m.